Hanoi, Vietnam: My Last Days in Asia

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Since I’ve spent so many nights longing to go back to the USA, it feels surreal to finally say that today is my last day here in Vietnam.  I’m so happy and relieved to finally be going back home!  I am looking forward to tackling my law school applications with full force, and I am excited to find a new job and place to live!  I am also anxious to see the people who are very important to me, and of course, to feast on fresh bagels and cream cheese. FEAST MODE! Ah, and to go to the nice quiet libraries. And to go running in nice, open sidewalks.  And to be reunited with my car.   And to have craft beer!!!!!

My last week in Asia has been spent in Hanoi with my mother.  After our action-packed trip to Sapa, we decided to stay in one place and explore it thoroughly rather than to spend long hours traveling from city to city by bus.

Hanoi has really nice weather and  I like it.  My mom and I have been doing a solid combination of some pretty classic touristy stuff with some totally random off-the-beaten path excursions.

We spent a total of three nights at the Eclipse Legend Hotel. The service was a little…odd. One guy called himself La La, and tried ardently to get us to book travel tours with him/go eat at his friends’ restaurant/etc every time he saw us.  It was a little annoying to not be able to cross the lobby without him coming over and trying to sell us something. My mom and I actually googled the Eclipse Legend and we saw on Tripadvisor a picture of some tourists with a “La La,” but not the same La La as our La La!  The whole La La thing turned out to be some kind of weird gimmick. Classic.

Then we changed hotels to the Viet View, which is really nice. It’s located in the Hoan Kiem District by the lake.

Here’s a list of some of the stuff we’ve done.

  • Bat Trang
    • Bat Trang is about an hour from the city via Bus 47.  It’s full of ceramics and is pretty low key.



Ceramic oinkers.
Ceramic oinkers.




  • Hỏa Lò Prison Museum
    • Sarcastically known as the Hanoi Hilton. A chilling look into what life was like for prisoners during the French colonization of Vietnam, and later during the Vietnam War.  John McCain was a prisoner there.



  • Vietnam Fine Arts Museum
    • Mediocre art, entertaining statues.



  • Taking a random bus then walking around/roaming around in general
    • Really fun to just check our random neighborhoods and cafes.
Seemed like an appropriate pose at the time.


Cool neighborhood
Cool neighborhood


Children's graves in a neighborhood.
Children’s graves in a neighborhood.


  • Chương Dương Bridge over the Red River
    • Tiny bridge for pedestrians and motorbikes only. Good views, good vibes.
View from the bridge
View from the bridge


Zoom zoom.
Zoom zoom.


We also have been sampling a variety of delicious restaurants.  Our favorite is called Foodshop 45 Indian Cuisine, located on 32 Hang Buom. I wish dinner could be for forever.


Damn, guys, so this is it. My last blog post as an expat in Asia. I can’t believe this moment is finally here.   It’s somewhat bittersweet to end this special vacation I’ve had with my mom.  As tourists here in Hanoi, we’ve been existing in a chaotic yet truly liberating space that I’m sure we’ll both think of fondly in the future.  And it’s also going to be weird going from my incredible, challenging adventure back to my home community, where life makes sense but still doesn’t make sense.  So many options and things to figure out in the future. I’d like to think of the world as my oyster, not my cage…

….Going forward!  I will to ask KoreaBridge to take my blog off their site (my blog stopped having to do with Korea a long time ago, anyway) and I’m going to start writing about other things. I don’t know what yet. I guess you’ll have to find out. I’m totally addicted to blogging at this point and will probably never stop ever.

I’ve really enjoyed keeping this travel blog, so if you’ve enjoyed reading it throw a comment or two my way! Let’s just be friends!


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